The efforts of reservation agents and front desk agents to convince guests to rent rooms in categories above standard rate accommodations. Hotels typically have several rate categories based on factors such as de´cor, size, location, view, and furnishings. Often the difference in rate between two similar guest rooms can be substantial.
To upsell, front office and reservations staff must be trained to be more than simply order takers. They must be trained to professional sales people. These personnel must see that they can upsell rooms in much the same way that a food server can sell an extra food item. Front office staff should learn effective techniques for suggesting room options to guests. This involves knowing how and when to ask for a sale in a non pressuring way and how to direct the sale from the guest’s perspective.
Offering guestroom options is the key to the reservations and registration sales process, and it requires thoughtful planning and practice. Although the majority of upselling is conducted during the reservations process, front desk agents are likely to have similar sales opportunities with walk in guest. Some hotels, as a matter of policy, offer registering guests more than one room option and then let them state their preferences. To create guest acceptance, the front desk agent must know how to describe the hotel’s facilities and services in a positive manner. A guest will probably provide several clues about what is acceptable for his/her stay and some information might already be available on a reservation record.
Upselling to walk in guests often holds the best opportunity to create more revenue for the hotel. In some cases, only the highest rated rooms may be available. In other cases, a good selling effort, creating the impression of additional value, will convince a guest that the increased room rate is worth the expense.
Stutts, A. T., & Wortman, J. (2006). Hotel and Lodging Management An Introduction (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.